You would design and develop the electronic components used in a huge variety of equipment, from mobile phones and computers to aircraft navigation systems.
You could work in a wide range of industries, for example
- Telecommunications - mobile phones, radio, TV and satellite communications
- Datacommunications - computers, tablets and ‘hole-in-the-wall’ cash machines (ATMs)
- Scientific research - acoustics, optics, physics and nanotechnology
- Medical instruments - clinical and laboratory equipment
- Military - communications, navigation and weapons systems
- Aerospace – avionics, radar, navigation and communication systems
- Manufacturing - programmable logic controls (PLCs) and industrial machinery
You’d do research and come up with ideas for improving the electronic equipment or systems. Then you’d work with a team to create the new component and test how well it works.
- Assess new ideas to see if they are workable
- Prepare technical plans using computer-aided engineering and design software
- Estimate the costs of labour and production for a project
- Estimate timescales for a project
- Coordinate the work of technicians and craftspeople
- Test prototypes and analyse data
- Make sure that projects meet safety regulations
- Plan and oversee inspection and maintenance schedules
You would often work on a project with a team of engineers, technicians and information technology (IT) staff.
- A flair for maths, science, technology and IT
Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.
You would need qualifications at SCQF levels 4 to 6: a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8), a degree (SCQF level 9/10) or postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) in:
- Electrical or Electronics Engineering
- Applied Physics
- Aeronautical Engineering
- Software Engineering
- Computer Science
Alternatively you might enter a Modern Apprenticeship and gain relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Electrical Engineering (SVQ level 3).
Entry to Electrical and Electronics Engineering degrees (SCQF level 9/10) requires National 5 qualifications and Highers at BBBC or above.
Integrated masters qualifications such as an MEng can also be studied at university. These courses incorporate more independent research and will give you a greater knowledge and understanding of Electrical Engineering Science.
They could also prepare you for further postgraduate study such as a PhD or EngD.
- Maths (required by many courses and employers)
- Science subjects, in particular physics (required by many courses and employers)
- Technologies subjects such as engineering science
You will normally need normal colour vision for this type of work.
Qualifications that show understanding and experience of the industry such as Skills for Work Engineering Skills (SCQF level 5) could also be useful.
Employers value work experience so finding courses with work placements or an internship, or working for a year in industry can be especially useful.
It could benefit your career if you worked towards incorporated or chartered status, to do this you would register with a relevant industry body, for example the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and apply to the Engineering Council.
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